Israel launches 'barbaric premeditated attack' on Palestinian mosque: report

Israel launches 'barbaric premeditated attack' on Palestinian mosque: report
Israeli forces detaining worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem (screengrab/@LinahAlsaafin/Twitter).

Israeli forces on Friday launched a raid on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, injuring more than 150 Palestinians as they gathered to worship on the second week of Ramadan.

Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque—one of Islam's holiest sites—told Middle East Eye that "what happened today is an attack on all peaceful worshipers."

"This was a barbaric premeditated attack on worshipers," he added.

Israeli police fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets as a small group of Palestinians hurled rocks, reportedly injuring three Israeli officers.

"The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said it treated 152 people, many of them wounded by rubber-coated bullets or stun grenades, or beaten with batons," the Associated Press reported. "The [Islamic endowment that administers the mosque] said one of the guards at the site was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet."

After firing tear gas and projectiles on the perimeter, Israeli police eventually entered the mosque and arrested hundreds of Palestinians.

According to Middle East Eye, "The buildings inside the complex were damaged in the attack, with some of its historical windows smashed by Israeli forces, according to eyewitnesses."

"Medics, journalists, mosque volunteers, and women were targeted, according to Palestinian media reports," the outlet reported. "Journalists Muhammad Samreen and Rami al-Khateeb were among those injured. At least one child was detained. Meanwhile, Israeli guards stationed at the mosque's gate stopped Palestinians from entering the site ahead of Friday prayers... Worshipers coming from the occupied West Bank and within Israel were allowed to enter shortly after."

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